TOMS RIVER — A wide-scale search for two missing people near an Ocean County park had a happy ending, when a father and his toddler son were discovered safe Sunday night.

Toms River police said were called around 7:35 p.m. after the pair left their Fifth Avenue township home Sunday morning and were not heard from for eight hours. A search was organized that included the State Police Aviation Unit and Toms River fire companies.

The father and son were found safe near Cattus Island County Park around 9:50 p.m.

Police did not disclose the father's identity or the circumstances of their disappearance.

Ocean County Scanner News reported the father may have taken his son to cook “hot dogs." They may have been referring to cattails, the nickname for hot dog shaped cattails

Police and fire vehicles at Cattus Island Park in Toms River during search for father, son 11/14/21 (OCSN)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

How to get from Monmouth/Ocean to the Holland Tunnel without paying tolls

Sometimes even your GPS doesn't know the back way to certain places.

Inventions you probably didn't know are New Jersey born

11 things that make a New Jersey diner a real diner